Posted in Blogging

Emergency Vet Visit

Sooooooo our little Abby fell rather ill the other day.  Friday, to be exact.

On Thursday, she hadn’t really been eating but I wasn’t too worried because she was still drinking and was rather energetic.  Then, on Friday, things took a turn for the worst.  She didn’t touch her food at all and hardly drank.  The day began with loose stools and as the day progressed she became more and more listless even refusing to go outside for a walk.  She was thirsty but couldn’t keep anything down and she was just plain miserable.  I was starting to worry a bit, but really went into panic mode when…well…details aside, lets just say that I call the emergency vet clinic and was told to bring her in right away.

I put her crate in the car and got her inside to drive the 30 minutes to the clinic.  While she was in the car, she did not whine at all, a very odd behaviour given that it usually takes her quite a while to calm down in the car.  She perked up a bit when we arrived at the clinic because of all of the new smells and she sniffed around as I registered her (she is part Beagle after all, her nose is at the center of her life lol).

Because of the rapid progression of the symptoms, she was quarantined and a Parvo test was issued.  I sat in the room with her, hoping that she hadn’t contracted the very infectious (to dogs) virus as she lay down on the floor and trembled while she tried to sleep.  Luckily, when the vet came in after about a 90 minute wait, she announced that the test had come back negative.  We discussed treatment options and possible causes (that raged from swallowing a large object to gastroenteritis) and I opted for treating the symptoms at home instead of an (200$) x-ray (an overnight stay – as was recommended – would have cost me 2000$!).

She was given some fluids and was injected with an antibiotic, anti nausea medication and antacid and I was sent home with the same medication in pill form plus some mushy easily digestible food to give her.  I got home a little before midnight and Abby didn’t protest when I put her in her crate for the night, nor did she wake at her usual 4:30 am to go outside.  The next morning, I was only just able to give her her meds (hidden inside two small meatballs of special food), however, by midday, she was already feeling much better.

She is now back to her usual playful, curious self and I am relieved.  It seems as though it was a stomach bug after all.

I also learned that I should have become a vet; it is a very lucrative business.  Our little visit cost us a nice half-grand…

All better!
All better!
Posted in Blogging

My Dog Has ADD

This is what a typical morning outing looks like with our dog.

5:30 am, Abby (formally Gracie) is whining in her crate.  Her bladder is full and she just can’t wait to get out.

Me: Abby, do you need to pee, come on, let’s go.  *Opens the crate*

Abby follows to the top of the stairs, tail wagging furiously and looks as I put on my shoes.

Me: Abby, come *grabs the leash*

Abby stretches comes down the stairs and sits.

Me: Good girl, Abby.  Lets get the leash on you.

Abby thinks: Ooooh look some hands!  I love hands!  I want to play!  *Tries to nibble on my hands as I attach the leash to her collar*.

Me: *I stand up and put my hand on the door handle*

Abby thinks: Oh that’s right, I have to sit quietly before she opens the door.  I probably should sit, I really need to pee.  *Sits and looks up at me with excitement*.

Me: Good girl.  Come on.  *Opens the door*

Abby thinks: OhMyGoshOhMyGoshOhMyGosh!  So many yummy smells.  *Pulls forward, tails wagging like mad*

Me:  Abby…*waits for the dog to sit down* lets go pee.

Abby thinks: Pee, pee…that’s right, I really have to go.  *Walks out onto the grass, following my lead.  Smells to find the right spot.*

And then, the fun begins…

Abby thinks: Oh look!  An acorn!  I LOVE acorns!  I want it!  *Pulls towards the left, but is stopped by the leash tugging on her collar*

Abby thinks: Ooooooo, a leaf!  *Pulls towards the right*

Abby thinks: Is that a cat I smell?  *Tugs forward on the leash*

Abby thinks: Hang on, wait, I’m outside walking right now.  Just walking.  This is nice, I think I’ll just follow…Holy crap!  A dried up worm.  I want to eat it.  *Lies down on the ground and attempts to lick the dried up worm off the ground*.

Abby thinks: A BIIIIIIIIIIIIIRD!  *Bolts forward and jumps up to try to catch it as it flies away*.

Abby thinks: Wait, what were we doing again?  Oh yes, I need to pee.  Now, if I could just find a spot.  *Pees on the grass*.

Me: (finally!)  Good girl Abby!

Abby thinks: OK, now that that’s out of the way, I want to keep walking a bit.  I like walki… Awesome!  A branch!  And it’s so long too.  *Pulls towards the left*

Abby thinks: Argh, so frustrating,  This leash thing won’t let me go where I want.  *Decides to walk nicely for a bit*

Abby thinks: This is booooooring.  Oh!  I know!  I’ll just play with the leash!!!!  *Bites down on the leash and attempts to play tug of war with me as we make our way back home*.

Me: No Abby.  Drop it.  *Wrestles with the puppy to get the leash out of her mouth*

Abby thinks: Ooooooo a GAME!  *Drops the leash to playfully bite my hands*  *Stops nibbling on my hands to bite the leash*

I could go on and on, but I suspect you get the point.  I adore her, but she is young and sometimes drives me nuts.  We’ve hired a dog trainer though.  The first thing we’re going to work on is walks.  Then, we’ll move on to other things.  Like not biting humans…

Abby, rockin' the "bat look" with her big floppy ears.
Abby, rockin’ the “bat look” with her big floppy ears.




Posted in Parenting

Our Family Grows!

Before you ask, no I am not pregnant.

We do, however, have a new family member; an adorable canine companion for our home!

Her name is Gracie and she is a (approximately) 5 month beagle/dachshund mix.

Gracie, the day we brought her home.
Gracie, the day we brought her home.

I’ve been meaning to get a dog for a while now.  During my last years at my parents’ home, we had a beagle.  When I moved out, I went into an apartment and wasn’t allowed any dogs, as such, I purchased some lizards and so, our family grew.  We started out at a reptile shop where we bought our first leopard gecko.  She unfortunately died due to an accident with her house.  But then we got Cocotte (who we named after my sister, or rather, the nickname I’ve been calling her by for years), a leopard gecko and she thrived…and is still thriving.

Later on, we ended up returning to a pet shop and got a brown anolis.  I fell in love with one in particular who only had three legs and a visible scar healing where he had recently lost one.  My partner wasn’t too sure we should bring it home, because he was afraid he’d die on us.  I was sure that if he was still alive, it was because he was a fighter and he would prove to be very resilient.  What you have to understand, I work with students who have learning difficulties of all sorts, as such, I have a tender heart towards the underdogs.  As such, we went home with our three-legged friend who we named House, in honor of Dr. House.  He is doing great!

Then, last year, a co-worker of mine who heard that I had lizards at home, asked if I would like one more.  You see, his son had one but wasn’t taking care of it.  My co-worker couldn’t even remember the last time the little creature had eaten!  After consulting with my partner, we decided to give the little lizard a new home.  When I first saw him, I was heartbroken.  The little gecko was naught but skin and bones and his tail was so skinny that it looked like it could break off with the slightest touch.  He was also very aggressive, attacking anything that came near him and did not want to be handled at all.  It was clear that he had suffered through some serious neglect.  Well, we started by taking care of his primary needs, namely providing him with a UV lamp, a heat mat, a fresh bowl of water and feeding him every day and then began working on getting him to be more trusting of the human hands that came near him.  Though he still refuses to be handled, he does not systematically attack anymore and now looks GREAT.  We called him Ti-Loup (lit. Little Wolf) because he was such a fighter.

And then, not too long ago, I started wanting a dog again.  It seemed like as good a time as any: we have our own house, our back yard is rather large and fenced, I’m home full-time for another month and a half.  I went on the petfinder website to see if there were any medium sized dogs in our area.  I wanted a good family dog that didn’t get too big.  I also did not want a barker and wanted something with short hair.  I’ve always loved both beagles and dachshunds and my partner  was rather partial to beagles, especially after getting to know Big, the beagle that my parents have.  I also chose petfinder over a pet shop because I wanted to give a dog a second chance.  There are so many families that get a puppy and then abandon them when they move or when they find out that they are too much work, I figured that adopting was a good option.  That’s when I found Gracie.  She had been found abandoned and walking the streets.  They estimated that she was born in February 2013 from her teeth (still a puppy!).  She had been taken in by a non-profit animal rescue in our area called Nali Animal Orphanage and had been placed in a foster home to await adoption.  We went to see her last Saturday and brought her home that very same day.  Now, we get to spend a week to two weeks with her before finalizing the adoption process.  At the end of our trial period, a representative from the animal orphanage will come check in with us to see how things are going and if there are any serious issues that would warrant her being placed in foster care once more.

I am very certain that we will get to keep her.  No one (including my son) seems allergic to her, she is well taken care of and is beginning to adjust to her new surroundings.  She is not eating yet, but has only been with us for about 36 hours so I expect that when she accepts that this is her new home (I read that the grieving period can last from 3 to 7 days) she’ll start eating again.

My son is starting to get used to her.  At first, he would cry every time he saw her.  Now, he actually lets her approach without crying.  He has also started reaching out to pet her when he is well rested and she is lying down.  It’s so cute!  I have to watch her because she’s still a pup and will sometimes nibble when she wants to play and I have to watch my son because he has a tendency to try to grab things rather tightly (like her ears or her tail).  So far, though, there have not been any successful attempts at nibbling or pulling.

Charles and Gracie chillin’ on either side of the play mat. Notice that Little Dude is facing the dog as he plays with his hands.